28 October 2010

a time to create

Well, there was a lot of creating going on here yesterday.  Remember when I mentioned I'd be making some new things for my friend's open house?  Well,  here is one of a few new ideas that's been floating around in my noggin. 
They're felted wool cuff bracelets.

They start out as poor, pitiful, homeless wool sweaters (actually, a couple are cashmere and lambswool, one is virgin alpaca and virgin merino!).  Then they find a new life after being lovingly felted in my washing machine and dryer.  I cut the sleeves off in strips, because after felting they are just the right size to make a nice cuff bracelet. 
Talk about upcycling!

I do a little of this...

and they turn into this...

I know they may not suit every one's style, but I think they're fun and funky and cute!  Not only did I recycle/upcycle the sweaters, but I also used vintage buttons, and little scrips and scraps of left over fabrics and other tidbits.  And don't worry, I've got plans for the rest of the sweaters, too. 

Hope you're having fun being creative today, too!
blessings and happiness,

25 October 2010

live life

This painting goes hand in hand with my prayer journal entry from this morning.  The scripture verse was: I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.  John 10:10.

It made me think about how I hold myself back from fully embracing life sometimes, because of what people may say or think of me.  It made me realize, I need to get out and live life!  And enjoy it!  And not worry about embarrassing myself. 

Like a few weeks ago, at Brooke's soccer practice after they were done running and doing drills and exercises, just for fun, the coach invited the parents to play a scrimmage game against the girls.  What fun!  I wanted to play, but I thought, I'm out of shape, I'm not strong and fit, what will people say?  But, Brooke wanted me to play, and I wanted to play, and finally, I was like... Ok, I'm just going to do it! 

Let me tell you, I had fun!  I was breathing hard, and tired, but I had fun.  I would have missed out on that JOY, if I had listened to the negative voice in my head, instead of the, "hey, go out there and have fun!", voice.

So, here's a reminder to me (and all of us) to seize the day and get our feet wet and allow ourselves to have a great, big helping of JOY!

blessings and happiness
and JOY!

20 October 2010

still life

Just enjoying the stillness of the day.
Hope you are, too. 

blessings and happiness,

18 October 2010

oh, happy day

Good news!

A friend of mine has invited me to be one of several local artists that she is going to feature at her annual Christmas open house.  I'm looking forward to it and need to start getting creative and productive around here, so I'll have plenty of work to showcase. 

I think I'm going to feature these mixed media gypsy-girl works as prints and blank greeting cards.  I'll also have the originals and my canvases for sale.  I'm sure the primitive dolls should do well, since it will be before Christmas and people will be thinking about their children and grandchildren.  But I also need to come up with a few new things -- so we'll see what creative ideas I'm inspired with!  

Wish me luck!
blessings and happiness,


15 October 2010

the discovery

As I mentioned the other day, the children made a mysterious discovery while we were visiting the farm.  I know this doesn't have anything at all to do with art or my day to day life, but they were so intrigued by it, I wanted to share.

While the children were playing in the woods, Brooke made an interesting discovery that led to a complete archaeological excavation.  She discovered an animal skull and they ended up finding virtually an entirely complete skeleton.

the excavation site

the skull with both mandibles of the lower jaw

pelvic bones, leg bones, vertebrae, and little ribs were all slowly and excitedly unearthed

I hope this doesn't seem gruesome to you, but the children were actually really excited about Brooke's discovery.  They all carefully pushed aside leaves and twigs in their effort to find as much of the skeleton as they could -- even Seany helped when he discovered there was something more exciting than climbing trees going on.

We brought the bones home, because Brenna thought she could share them with her science teacher and maybe reconstruct the skeleton as a class and possibly even determine what kind of animal it was.

Due to its size and a few broken ribs, we grownups (Mom, Dad, and Rob and I) speculated that it was a fox that may have been someone else's dinner.  Also, the skeleton was not neatly laid out in its proper position as if it had died of natural causes.  The bones were all scattered hither and yon.  The only carnivorous predators that are commonly seen on my parents farm are foxes, coyotes, and hawks.  Maybe a coyote snuck up on this unlucky fox?

So the children have really enjoyed this little mystery and it has been cool as a parent to see their little minds thinking scientificly to solve the puzzle.  Brenna was super excited to take it to school, because she has an awesome teacher who really has a passion for science. 

I rinsed the bones and soaked them in bleach to clean them and get rid (hopefully) of any yucky germs.  Brenna took them to school this morning, so it will be interesting to see what kind of conclusions the 7th grade class reached today.

Interestingly, Brenna and Brooke both went on a school field trip to the St. Louis Science Center yesterday, and I think they were more thrilled with that 20-30 minutes in the woods, than with anything they saw there. 

Next time, these gypsy boots will get back to talking about art and artsy things.  By the way, thanks for listening (I mean reading) and for continuing to uplift me with your kind and encouraging words.  

blessings and happiness,

12 October 2010

a relaxing weekend

Well, it was another pleasantly peaceful weekend on the farm. 

Tire swings, tree climbing, and tractor rides were on the agenda for the children.  They also made an interesting and mysterious discovery in the woods (more on that later). 

Fairy houses were built with great care.

We took a leisurely walk or two, watched a little football, did a little knitting, laughed a lot, cooked even more -- Rob commented that naps were necessary in order to prepare for the next hearty homemade meal.  We played hide and seek in the barn, went on trail rides, visited the local farmer's market and main street shops, reflected on old memories
and maybe created a few new ones, too.

Despite the draught like conditions Kentucky has been enduring for the past couple of months, mother nature didn't disappoint us -- there was still brilliant color to be seen everywhere.  And as always, early morning's long shadows unveiled the black board fenced pastures, home to Kentucky's dearest treasure, her humble hero, the horse.

Hoping your day is filled with 
blessings and happiness,

07 October 2010

a day for singing

Well, in addition to the neighborhood birds singing,  and the water in the front garden fountain singing, today I am singing.  I am also doing laundry, folding laundry and packing suitcases, but mostly, I am singing.  Because when I lay my head down on the pillow tonight, it will be under the velvety skies of my home in the bluegrass state.   =)

So as I sing the song in my heart today...
be glad, dear friend, that you can't hear me :0 ...
I'll be packing all that's necessary for 3 children, 1 dog, 1 rabbit, and 2 tired grownups to survive for a few days down on the farm.  
(read:  rubber boots, jeans, a little knitting and my trusty camera)
As I sign off for a few days, I am wishing you a weekend of sunny skies, colorful trees, and a song in your heart that you're free to sing. 

blessings and happiness,

06 October 2010

remember this sentiment?

A week or so ago, I wrote a post about how Sean was looking forward to his birthday with so much anticipation.  I lamented how as a grownup, I have failed to look forward to my birthdays with as much joy (at least as I got further and further from 20, and closer and closer to 40).  I have purposed in my heart that that will no longer be the case.  I am going to enjoy each and every day of life. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with my life and very thankful for all my blessings, but I think sometimes we as grownups get bogged down with the burden of our responsibilities, our schedules, our chores... 

I want to start living life a little more vicariously and with a little more humor.  So when my next birthday comes around, I'm going to celebrate it with a happy heart and allow myself to revel in some childlike joy.  (I mean why do we make ourselves feel guilty about eating our own birthday cake?  Just enjoy it!)

So, here's some art designed to remind me that it's ok to enjoy the simple things and if that means blowing a few bubbles, that's ok.

I'm going to start seeing the world through the wonder-filled eyes of a child more often.  I think I'll be a happier, more grateful person.  I think I'll treasure the little victories more and not be so worried about things I can't control any way.  Today I am wishing you a day of childlike wonder and innocence filled with

blessings and happiness,

04 October 2010

playing with pictures

Over the weekend, the children and I went outside in the yard late one afternoon to enjoy the quietness of the day.  I noticed our angel trumpet tree had some new blooms and I thought it would be a good opportunity to experiment with the camera and take a few pictures.  So here is a little of what our yard and garden have on display.

This beautiful oak tree shades our whole yard.  Unfortunately, the utility company came by recently and butchered the whole street side of it.  You used to not be able to see through this tree.  They cut every branch off the street side of it.  I mean they cut all the way to the trunk.  It's so sad.  I hate it when they do that to trees. 

This year when we planted the garden, I decided to put the lavendar in front of the house on either side of the garage.  It really took over the garden last year, and although I love it, we wanted to have more room for the tomatoes and peppers.  But it would not be denied, and it grew back on its own, any way.

I think this picture turned out pretty cool.  I love how the sun was shining through the leaves and kind of created a little sunburst flower in the image.  

  hoping you get to enjoy some quiet moments and that your day is filled with
blessings and happiness,